Daily Devotional: Day 114
“But He [Jesus] turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them . . .” (Luke 9:55-56, NKJV).
One day, Jesus had to pass through a Samaritan village on His way to Jerusalem. But when the people realized that He was headed toward Jerusalem, the people wouldn’t receive Him. This upset two Jesus’ disciples, James and John. So, they asked Jesus if He wanted them command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did (see the Scripture for further study below). Recall that at the time of Jesus, the Jews despised the Samaritans and would have no associations with them. Likewise, the Samaritans wouldn’t associate with Jews (cf. John 4:4-9). Jesus was not pleased with His disciples’ request. His response to James and John is what we see in today’s Scripture.
The Bible says that Jesus rebuked James and John and wasted no time in reminding them of His mission in the world. Jesus reminded James and John of two things. First, He told them that they didn’t know what manner of spirit were of. What ‘spirit’ was Jesus referring to? The answer is in the next verse. Jesus said that He had not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. Notice the contrast between what the disciples wanted and what Jesus wanted. In this incident, we realize that James and John were not on the same page as their Master. They wanted to destroy the Samaritans who refused to welcome Jesus. But Jesus’ desire was to save, not destroy.
From today’s story we learn the importance of having the same mind as the Savior. Jesus’s mind is to save. And He wants us to have the same mind. The ‘spirit’ we are of is not a spirit of destruction, but a spirit of mercy, compassion and salvation. When we meet people or minister to them, at times impatience and bias can get in the way, and this attitude can make us deviate from the ministry of mercy and compassion Jesus has entrusted to us. God has blessed us with the power of His Holy Spirit. This power is not for cursing or commanding fire to consume our enemies. Let’s have the same mind as the Savior and focus on saving, not destroying.
Pray to the Father about what you’ve heard today.
For further study: 2 Kings 1:1-15